Dating can be hard, but it seems especially hard in Los Angeles, and this is coming from someone who was born and raised here. It’s different and it’s difficult because of the threat of Hollywood. Almost everyone who lives here is here because they want to do something in the film, television, or music industry. And not just any something. Something big. Like The Kool-Aid man busting through brick walls big.
Unfortunately, most of these guys (and women too!) who hungrily seek fame the way I seek cheese fries after a night of drinking, are exactly the types of guys to avoid in Los Angeles. Let’s break it down.
THE INDIE MUSICIAN
Something about indie artists is more grating than dudes in, say, a heavy metal band or a jazz trio. I think it’s because when you’re picking up steam and you’re popular enough to sell out a small venue, you think you’re on the way to Mumford And Sons or the guys who sing that “I belong to you, you belong to me” tune that seems to be playing all the time, even if the radio isn’t on. But that’s just a theory.
How You Can Spot Him: The indie musician is spotted by his slender frame, skinny pants, and shaggy hair. Or he’ll have a beard, possibly paired with a plaid shirt.
His Two Modes: “I really want to talk about my band” and “I really don’t want to talk about my band.” It all depends on how his most recent show went and if he’s signed to a label. His band will always be his primary relationship.
His Facebook attack: endless invites to every single show he does, even if it’s in another state or on the other side of the world you wouldn’t possibly be able to attend.
THE STAND-UP COMEDIAN
There’s that old thing that comedians are actually the most depressed people in the world, and they deal with pain through comedy. It’s pretty true. And when they find that comedy and when it makes people laugh, some of these types want to make people laugh all the time. You’ll think you’re talking to a cute guy you just met at a party but really, he’s using you to try out his new material.
How You Can Spot Him: He’ll be wearing some sort of silly or ironic t-shirt and probably a hoodie.
His Two Modes: “On” and “annoyed with everything and everyone in the world.” By “on” I mean that he’ll treat everything as a performance, even if it’s just hanging out with friends or a casual date. When he’s in his “off” mode, so to speak, he’s bitter about everything, especially other comedian’s success. And if someone on Twitter steals one of his Tweets…watch out. Shit’s gonna go down.
His Facebook Attack: Constant invites for his stand-up, improv, storytelling, and sketch comedy shows. Most comedians don’t limit themselves to just one thing. I said “The Stand Up Comedian” to make it easier. “The Stand-Up/Improv/Storytelling/Sketch Comedy Comedian” isn’t as effective. Because comedians are open to so many different ways of performing, you’ll get 10x more invites from him than you would a musician. Comedians will play anywhere. In one week you’ll get an invite to see stand-up at a coffee shop, improv at UCB, and a storytelling show at a bar.
You knew this one was coming. If you’ve lived in LA long enough, one by one your friends will each say to themselves “No more actors.” And then you will, too. And then most of you will break that promise to yourself because, “this one is different.” Finding the “different” actor is so hard that you shouldn’t even try to look. If he comes to you, great. Pretty much every stereotype you may have about actors is true. They can be egotistical, self-absorbed, jealous, and vain. And I get why. Acting professionally can effing suck. For every Bradley Cooper, there are 150,000 guys who want to be Bradley Cooper and are maybe even just as talented, but they’re not him, and they would kill Bradley Cooper’s mom if it meant they could have his career. Killing his mom wouldn’t help. But they’d do it.
How You Can Spot Him: This one is a little harder. People hear the word actor and have an image of a tall, dark, handsome man with a perfected toned physique. But character actors exist, and they get a lot of work. So there are some dead-giveaways like the classic model/actor type I described. But there are also actors who play the “quirky” roles. The Michael Ceras. Unless they look like Brad Pitt in his ’90s prime, the only way you can spot an actor is by your location. If you’re at an industry event or a party being thrown for a new app, chances are, you’re going to see a lot of actors there. And then there’s how they…well, act. Most actors love to talk about themselves and what they do, and very quickly. They only ask what you do so they can tell you what they do. And they are. An. Actor.
His Two Modes: Moody and moody.
His Facebook attack: lots of invites to see him in short films, plays, showcases…and the dreaded Kickstarter plea.
Basically…if you can find a wonderful guy who is creative but isn’t driven by the entertainment industry…he’s worth looking at. The rest, take your chances, but I’d avert your eyes.
Photo credit: “Hurt, Jones Beach” by Joseph SZABO via The Gorgeous Daily.